(SAN FRANCISCO) — Barry Zito knew he was going to be pitching in a big game against a divison rival, and stepped up.
Zito, who has often been criticized by San Francisco Giants (79-61) fans after signing a sizable contract in 2007 and has since been underwhelming, shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers for 6.1 innings en route to a 4-0 Giants win on Sunday night.
“This game’s obviously bigger because not only is it against our rival in the West, it’s the Dodgers, too,” Zito said. “Being 5 1/2 up, we like where we’re at. We certainly can’t rest on our laurels. We have to fight every day, and that’s something we’ve been doing all year.”
Zito matched a season high in wins since joining the Giants by winning his 11th. He allowed only four hits, walked three and struck out four to help his team increase their NL West lead.
Buster Posey hit his 20th home run of the season off of Dodgers starter Joe Blanton, and Hunter Pence added a two-run double.
Reining Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw was scratched from the start by the Dodgers (74-67) because of an inflamed right hip. Kershaw said he would have liked to pitch against the Giants, but the team erred on the side of caution.
The Giants have an NL-best 13 shutouts on the year, with four coming against the Dodgers.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com Columnist